We’re rattling on through these months at a fair rate of knots. Time flies when you have lots of articles to write eh?

On the Facebook page, we had a bit of a discussion about drama series and box sets, either on the tv, catch up, or DVD. Well, I can’t keep a time and date for a programme in my head for any length of time, except Strictly Come Dancing, of course, that goes without saying. As a consequence, I don’t watch live TV. I used to be on the ball with Downton Abbey, Endeavour, Vera, all the good series, but of course brain fog gets in the way. Especially when there are so many to choose from these days. It takes a Facebook post asking for recommendations just to jog the memory!

Well, it’s March 2022 just now. That date has been etched on the minds of fans of a particular series for probably about a year now. What am I talking about?

Outlander of course! The beginning of the new series is to start on 6th March. If you hear a dull roar, that could very well be me. Presently I have been catching up on the old series’ so that I am well primed for when the new one starts.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t go with all the hype and hurrah when it was originally on TV. Like I said, couldn’t remember when it was on……until all the outpouring of guff from friends who had fallen in love with the lead characters, pfft! Silly women!!! (Oh how I ate my words)

My Outlander time came at the beginning of the first lockdown. What do you do when you live on your own and have all those restrictions put upon you? Well, I started watching Outlander. Then I understood. It is addictive. Binge-watching was something I had not gotten into, but I certainly have now. I love that it is modern, historical and sci-fi all in one, but doesn’t involve futuristic imaginings. I really can’t be doing with futuristic imaginings. Except for the original three Star Wars films. I am a bit of a Star Wars purist…. but I was in my youth then. I know, I am contrary, but that’s OK. It’s allowed.

Now since getting my head around all the possibilities that my TV holds, I have realised that the world is almost my oyster whilst sitting in my reclining chair with a good cup of tea and snacks. I’ve recently watched Elementary. That’s a modern take on Sherlock Holmes, with Jonny Lee Miller in the lead role. Good recommendation from my son.

Also, The Prestige is a new one, I haven’t watched much but it’s looking good. Anne with Maxine Peak, Trigger Point, with Vicky MacLure; No Return with Sheridan Smith, I was gripped with that one… oh the list is endless.

The weather hasn’t been conducive to outdoor activities. My garden is like a quagmire, and it looks like it has been abandoned for years. The poor chooks hardly get any good scratching time. But they are still laying, paying their rent, so they must be happy enough. When there is some better weather, I will get some photos of them, they are quite cute, Silkies, all fluffy and unnecessary. Their names are Hinge, Bracket, and Dorothy.

Beryl has had some walks with friends recently, as I am not able to take them out. She will go with anyone who is holding the other end of her lead. She’s not fickle at all! She is very cute and makes friends wherever she goes but we can’t let her off the lead on walks, as she only comes back when she is ready. She doesn’t run away, just well out of arms reach. Bertie, unfortunately, does not really understand how to be social with other dogs, although he is getting better; he gets a bit too protective and his growl sometimes sounds as though he would have your arm off at the shoulder. He’s only the size of a stout Jack Russell!! I don’t let him go with anyone other than me or my family. It’s due to his traumatic life back in Macedonia. Who knows what he went through but I have had him now for 18 months and he is a much calmer and happier little dog than when he first came to me. I would not be without.

Grandma and Grandad Niland, on their engagement.  1927.

This really made me chuckle. Although I suppose it’s a bit sad in a way. There will be lots of folk who can’t do the things they hoped to be doing yet instead we got this illness. Well, I had wanted to go to Ireland for ever such a long time, I have Irish ancestry. My maternal grandfather came from Co Sligo and my maternal Grandmother from Co Mayo. I had the chance to go over actually to the Sligo area a few years ago and I was well enough to have been able to enjoy it to the full. However, circumstances, and not having enough confidence and faith in myself, meant that I saw very little of the Ireland that was in my grandparents’ lives. But, at the end of June this year I am going to Ireland again. This time to Dublin. It’s a bit of a comical story in a way, as my daughter invited me to go with her and her partner and their new baby (not born yet). The main reason for my invite is to babysit while the two of them go to a concert that has been canceled for the past two years due to covid. I’m overjoyed that they think I am responsible enough to look after their weeks-old baby but I really would like to be able to push the pram along the streets of Dublin and see how history has made the city today. I did mention that I wanted to go to the General Post Office on O’Connell Street…… not to send holiday postcards but to try to soak up some of the Easter Rising histories that surround that great building.

My Journey

So you know the journey I talked about in my last blog? The photos of what it’s really like to live my life… well I’ve got a couple more. I saw a funny meme on the internet last week…..

The key to looking A-MA-ZING is to look like sh$t most of the time. Then when you do look good you get so many compliments!!

This made me think you know. I often go to the local supermarket with a big jumper over whatever I am wearing, and often my lovely pink furry crocs that I wear around the house. It’s only when I am actually at the fruit and veg aisle that I realise I haven’t changed my shoes! Often my hair isn’t brushed properly…if you haven’t already noticed my hair is a bit of a bird’s nest affair; takes a lot of energy to drag a brush through it. And don’t get me started on showers and whether or not it’s of any use wasting all the energy for the day on a morning shower, or having one later in the day and only the bedsheets making the most of a clean bod! So you see, when I go to trawl the discounted bargains after 6 pm in the local shop, is anyone actually looking at me, and making a judgment. Or are they not bothered at all, just doing their shopping? After so many years of dealing with this life of chronic problems, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. But it is so nice when there is enough time to have a pamper and go out looking like someone owns me (as my Grandma used to say).

This is the photo I had taken for the newsletter last week. I had indeed used all my energy for looking good and approachable as an ambassador for the Network. I had even managed to put some colour in my hair. Yes, it is blue. You will get used to me having various colours at times in my hair. I think it’s the old hippie in me. Either that or I am still rebelling against my mother’s idea of a nice hairdo!

Yesterday I went out with a friend, to visit other friends who live about 40 miles away. It was a beautiful day, the dogs got on together, mostly, and the children were adorable. There was lots of chat over tea and cake, and overall it was a really fabulous few hours of socialising. I have to say that my friend has a dog who is a Griffon de Vendeen, so quite tall, called Ralph. A rescue dog, a bit of a grumpy old man. And you know my Bertie, the stout terrier with the Queen Anne legs. Well, they had a bit of a disagreement. It was a non-contact sport, just a bit of showing of teeth. Ralph has a full set of doggy teeth, Bertie only has the top two canines and some rear molars. Ralph’s teeth were at least 18 inches higher than Bertie’s. I’m not sure that he didn’t get a crick in his neck looking up to the grumbling hound. But it was all over in a few seconds, and as far as Bertie was concerned he won.

So this leads me to the photo here of me, with bags under my eyes and a look of a rabbit in headlights. I am wearing the jumper that covers everything, and I did indeed pop out to the shop looking like this. No one mentioned anything, just a few polite nods. I wonder if the local population has just got used to me now after all these years, and accept, with a polite nod, oh it’s just the old Hippie From Henry Street?

Whatever they think, I don’t mind. Luckily I live in a friendly wee town, with lots of good friends. So if you have recovered from seeing me with the full wake-up face in glorious technicolour, I will leave you with that image, and be back in a few weeks.

Kind regards,

Eileen x